Disciplined Reading

One of my goals for 2012 is to read 1 book each week and I have done pretty well so far. However, one of the greatest struggles I experience is that my reading is not very disciplined. By this, I mean that I do not have a very good plan for making sure I am reading the “best” of what I need to be reading. Tony Reinke has emphasized the fact that for every book we read, we are saying no to 10,000 others. For this reason, I want to make sure I am disciplined in my reading. For some helpful blog posts about disciplined reading, check these out:

Albert Mohler’s advice to read in categories

Mark Dever’s advice to pick a theologian for each month

Nathaniel Claiborne’s emphasis on a theological theme each month

After reading these posts, I was challenged to put together a plan to discipline my reading throughout the year. I am still planning to read a book each week but will focus my reading in 4 basic categories (theology, theologian, pastoral ministry, personal growth). Each month will have a specific theological emphasis and I will read a book on that particular aspect of theology (I may read an entire book or several chapters it in a book like A Theology for the Church). I will also read a work by the specified theologian for the month (this may be a book or a collection of letters, etc). The third area I will focus my attention on is reading in pastoral ministry (overall ministry and student ministry). Finally, I will work through a book that is focused on personal spiritual growth (biography, prayer, revival, etc.) Here is the specific theological theme and theologian/theologians I will work through each month:

January: Epistemology – Clement, Chrysostom, Polycarp

February: Anthropology/Harmartiology – Augustine

March: Doctrine of God – Thomas Aquinas

April: Christology – Martin Luther

May: Pneumatology – John Calvin

June: Trinitarianism – John Owen

July: Soteriology – John Bunyan

August: Eschatology – Jonathan Edwards

September: Ecclesiology – Richard Sibbes

October: Ethics – James P. Boyce

November: Culture – Martyn Lloyd Jones

December: Apologetics – D. A. Carson

**If you have any suggestions feel free to send them my way!